Sea glass is also known as mermaid tears or sea jewels. They are pieces of glass that has become smooth and frosty from being in the sea for at least 25 years. Over this time, they have become lovely gems of softly coloured glass nuggets. Most of the sea glass I have collected is from a stretch of the Solent between the Victoria Country Park, the site of the old First World War Hospital, and Hamble. The hospital was home to injured and convalescing soldiers, and so I often wonder if some of the pieces are from old medicine bottles.
As with all of my courses, this will be an intimate and personable workshop with a maximum of five people. Although slightly more advanced than my Beginners workshop, the small numbers will allow for lots of individual attention and is great for beginners. You are welcome to bring your own sea glass which you have collected or a flat backed stone. This may be something which has sentimental meaning, perhaps from a special holiday or found by one of your children. Ideally you want to find a stone around about 1 cm in diameter and as thin and flat as possible. Alternatively, I do have a large selection available for those who haven’t made it to the beach yet.
For pictures and testimonials from past workshops, go to https://www.rebeccaoxenham.com/workshop-testimonials
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
This course is suitable for learners with no previous knowledge of working with silver clay or those with experience with other forms of jewellery making. It is also suitable for those with no experience yet of crafts or creative activities. Most important is a desire to learn and experiment with the materials.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY
You’ll spend the morning learning about silver clay, choosing your sea glass, designing your piece, texturing, learning to create the setting in the clay, filing and sanding then leaving it to dry, before eating your picnic. In the afternoon, you will fire your piece using a jewellers torch then you will learn to set the sea glass stone, polishing and finish it by attaching your fixings such as a chain or ear wires.
10.00 Arrival with tea or coffee we will introduce ourselves, discuss the itinerary and have a look and talk through the examples of jewellery that can be made and choosing the sea glass stones.
10.30 Students are talked through the tools in the studio and told a bit about the history of silver clay, its eco-friendly properties, shrinkage and how it all works. The tutor demonstrates how to make your piece.
11.00 students then start working on their own designs, from rough sketching and making models before starting work crafting their own designs. Rebecca will demonstrate how to create the setting using fine silver bezel strip, sizing the setting for the stone and embedding it in the clay.
13.00 While the clay is drying, students take a break to have a picnic either in the garden (weather permitting) or within the studio space. (There are nearby shops if students need to pop out).
14.00 Students learn to fire their pieces using a gas torch. This is the magical bit where the clay like substance transforms to 99.9% fine silver. After firing, a wire brush is used to brush off the white clay binder residue, revealing the solid fine silver beneath.
15.00 Students then set the sea glass stones and polish the pendants. Students are shown how to attach their charms to chain or neck cord.
15.30 Students finish off with a glass of prosecco or non-alcoholic alternative while they admire everyone’s jewellery made in the class. Rebecca then explains how to care for the jewellery.
16.00 Students leave for the day.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
- A packed lunch and any extra drinks
- Glasses - there is some fine detailed work. - An apron if you have one
- Ideally closed toe shoes (to protect your feet in case you drop tools).
- Hairband (to tie hair back while firing)
- Your own sea glass or flat backed stones if you would prefer to use your own
- Minimum age: 16 (under 18s must be accompanied by a participating adult)
- There is no wheelchair access to the workroom, which is at the end of the garden
- There is parking on the road (if it gets busy, there is also a car park close by on Manor Farm Road
- Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF £120 PER PERSON?
Unlike a lot of workshops, I like to include everything you are likely to need in the price to keep things simple and so if you buy this as a gift your recipient will not have to be paying out on the day for the silver clay or a chain or other bits and pieces. You know exactly how much this one day course will cost you.
- Silver clay (enough to make a pendant or pair of drop earrings)
- Sea glass stone
- Fixings - fine silver bezel wire to set the stone - a silver chain.
- Use of all equipment needed from the studio
- A step-by-step detailed instruction booklet (which you can take home)
- Tea, coffee and biscuits
- A glass of prosecco or non-alcoholic alternative to celebrate the day at the end - Access to all the tools you will need from the studio.
- 6 hours/ full day of expert tuition from someone who loves to teach!
ABOUT YOUR TUTOR - REBECCA OXENHAM
Rebecca works out of her studio at the end of her garden in Hampshire, England. The jewellery created is inspired by her passion for nature, and she is committed to supporting biodiversity and protecting the environment. She uses recycled materials such as silver clay which is an 100% recycled product made from recycled silver which is ground up to a fine powder and mixed with a binder. When fired, it becomes solid fine silver. Using recycled silver helps to limit the use of child labour in mines, as well as the amount of metals that must be produced. This leads to less waste in landfills and helps to slow the consumption and deterioration of natural resources.
Rebecca studied at the Cornwall School for Art Craft and Jewellery for her Level One, Art Clay Diploma Certification in Silver Clay. This is a world-wide, recognised qualification, administered by the official distributors of Art Clay in Europe. She is also a member of AMCAW (Association of Metal Clay Artists Worldwide) and GOJD (Guild of Jewellery Designers).
LOCATION AND TRAVEL
The course is held at Rebecca's Garden Studio in Bitterne Park, Southampton. The workshop is held in the studio at the end of my garden on Oaktree Road, Southampton. Please knock on the front door on arrival and I will take you through to the studio. If you are late, I will leave the side gate open, so you can walk down and join us then.
Use SO18 1PH in your satnav or if using Google Maps just type in Rebecca Oxenham Jewellery. There is parking on Oaktree Road (if it gets busy there is also a car park close by on Manor Farm Road, near the junction of Dimond Road and next to Riverside Park).
Nearest train stations are Swathling, Bitterne, Southampton Parkway and Southampton Central. (If you are coming by train, I can sometimes arrange pick up and drop off depending on availability - contact me in advance).
City Bus no 7 stops on the road a few yards from the venue and runs from the centre of Southampton.
Full joining instructions will be sent in advance of the course. Gift vouchers are available.
Cancellations of workshop places and private tuition bookings within 14 days of the event will forfeit the workshop/private tuition fee unless I am able to find someone to take your place. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend.
What's included in the price
Unlike a lot of workshops I like to include everything you are likely to need in the price to keep things simple and so if you buy this as a gift your recipient will not have to be paying out on the day for the silver clay or a chain or other bits and pieces. You know exactly how much this one day course will cost you. - Silver clay (enough to make a pendant or pair of drop earrings) - Sea glass stone - Fixings - fine silver bezel wire to set the stone - a silver chain. - Use of all equipment needed from the studio - A step by step detailed instruction booklet (which you can take home) - Tea, coffee and biscuits - A glass of prosecco or non alcoholic alternative to celebrate the day at the end - Access to all the tools you will need from the studio. - 6 hours/ full day of expert tution from someone who loves to teach!